Roux Continues Rotation For Third Warm-up



DHL Stormers flyhalf Damian Willemse will start in the Junior Springboks’ No 10 jersey on Saturday against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in their final warm-up match on their training camp as coach Chean Roux continues his player rotation policy.

With Roux set to name his 28-man squad to travel to Georgia for the World Rugby U20 Championship in two weeks’ time, the SA U20 coach stuck to his plan to give all the players in the squad a chance to stake a claim for a place in the final squad.

Only three players named in the starting team were in the run-on side against the Down Touch Griffons on Wednesday, namely Manie Libbok, who moves from wing to fullback, Wandisile Simelane, who switches from centre to wing and David Brits, who will start at outside centre.

Flanker Nama Xaba, who will lead the team, was initially named in the squad to play in Welkom, but he was forced to withdraw before the match due to illness.

The 26-man match-day squad includes five players who were members of the Junior Springbok squad that travelled to Manchester last year. They are Libbok, Embrose Papier, Ruben de Villiers, Kwenzo Blose and Carlű Sadie.

“Our plan from the outset was to give everyone a fair chance to play, and we are excited to see what these players have to offer against a quality Cheetahs outfit,” said Roux.

“This match will serve as a tough test from a physical and mental point of view, and that was our objective as we look to test the players under pressure while at the same time preparing them for what they can expect in Georgia.”

Papier will pair up with Willemse, who made his debut for the DHL Stormers in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition last month, at halfback.

DHL Western Province prop Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, meanwhile, will start alongside the Toyota Free State Cheetahs duo of prop Blose and hooker Marnus van der Merwe in the front row, while De Villiers joins forces with Reinhard Nothnagel in the engine room. The loose trio will feature No 8 Len Massyn and flankers Hacjivah Dayimani and Xaba.

Roux is expecting a physical battle against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs, and said the match would serve as a solid test for his team.

“The battle up-front is going to be big as the Cheetahs have named a very physical pack, but they also have a classy backline, so we need to deliver a quality performance in all the areas of our game,” said Roux.

“We were tested on defence in the last two matches, and we expect another big challenge in this department against the Cheetahs. We still have a lot of work to do on our set pieces, but this match will offer the perfect opportunity to measure where we are in that regard. We know we will have our work cut out against the Cheetahs, but we are looking forward to the match.”

The match will kick off at 15h00 at Shimla Park and entrance is free. 

Junior Springbok team to face the Toyota Free State Cheetahs:
No Player Province
15 Manie Libbok Vodacom Blue Bulls
14 Wandisile Simelane Xerox Golden Lions
13 David Brits DHL Western Province
12 Cornel Smit DHL Western Province
11 Ilunga Mukendi Cell C Sharks
10 Damian Willemse DHL Western Province
9 Embrose Papier Vodacom Blue Bulls
8 Len Massyn Xerox Golden Lions
7 Hacjivah Dayimani Xerox Golden Lions
6 Nama Xaba DHL Western Province
5 Reinhard Nothnagel Xerox Golden Lions
4 Ruben de Villiers DHL Western Province
3 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko DHL Western Province
2 Marnus van der Merwe Toyota Free State Cheetahs
1 Kwenzo Blose Toyota Free State Cheetahs
16 PJ Botha Xerox Golden Lions
17 Wikus Groenewald DHL Western Province
18 Carlű Sadie DHL Western Province
19 Ewan Coetzee Toyota Free State Cheetahs
20 Muller Uys DHL Western Province
21 Juarno Augustus DHL Western Province
22 Rewan Kruger Toyota Free State Cheetahs
23 Jean-Luc Cilliers Xerox Golden Lions
24 Wayne van der Bank Xerox Golden Lions
25 Daniel Jooste DHL Western Province
26 Boan Venter Toyota Free State Cheetahs